Students’ Union Health Plan Referendum

 

The Students’ Union Undergraduate Health Plan affords many students access to valuable health and drug benefits, including mental health supports, vision coverage, physical therapy, travel insurance, and accident expenses. 

However, the current plan does not cover the cost of oral contraceptives. Oral contraceptives, more commonly known as birth control pills, are an important prescription for many people who menstruate. Not only is it an effective method to prevent pregnancy, but others may choose oral contraceptives to treat acne or relieve symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

The current plan also is financially unstable. Many students have experienced significant cuts to their existing coverage due to a lack of sustainability within the plan. 

It is clear that to address the lack of coverage for oral contraceptives and ensure that students do not continue to receive cuts to their existing coverage, a fee increase is crucial. To address these student concerns, we are campaigning to raise the Undergraduate Health Plan fee by $75.41 (and adjusted annually by the cost of inflation) to ensure students can continue to access comprehensive health and drug benefits. If the referendum passes, the Health Plan will immediately implement coverage for oral contraceptives effective on September 1, 2021.

Laurier prides itself on a sense of community. As a Laurier student, we must do all our part to ensure every student is afforded adequate health care benefits. Vote YES on January 27-29. It’s the golden thing to do.


Full referendum question:

Do you support raising the Undergraduate Health Plan fee in order to provide students with extended health and drug benefits, including for oral contraceptives, mental health supports, vision coverage, physical therapy, travel insurance, and accident expenses? The fee will be increased by $75.41 and adjusted annually by the cost of inflation.

  • The date of the implementation: 1 September 2021
  • Specific information as to which members it applies to (such as specific campus or program): All Laurier undergraduate students.
  • Any associated and inflationary costs: Adjusted annually by the cost of inflation
  • Any applicable information regarding former referendum questions of a similar nature: In 2012, a referendum question passed allowing both the Health and Dental fees to increase annually by the cost of inflation


FAQ’s

Can I opt-out?

You are able to opt-out of the Undergraduate Health Plan if you are able to provide proof of equivalent coverage (OHIP+ is not considered equivalent). For some students, they are still insured under their parents plan, which is why they choose to opt out. 

However, many students rely on the Health and Dental plan to ensure access to valuable health and drug benefits. Approximately 13,000 students are enrolled in the plan for the 2020-2021 year, while approximately 6,000 students opted out. Even if you opt-out of the plan, consider voting yes in the referendum. While technically voting ‘yes’ will not cost you money if you chose to opt-out, voting ‘no’ will cost your peers, friends, and classmates the ability to access adequate health benefits.

 

What happens if the referendum fails?

Oral contraceptives will continue to not be covered by the health plan, no improvement will be made to the plan, and existing coverage may continue to decrease due to the instability of the plan.

 

What happens if the referendum passes?

Oral contraceptive coverage will be added to health plans on September 1, 2021, and improvements to the plan (including extended coverage for vision, dental, mental health, etc.) will be added in the future.

 

How can I get involved?

If you want to get involved in the campaign, follow our socials!

Instagram: @suhealthplanreferendum

Twitter: @su_healthplan

Facebook: WLU Students’ Union Health Plan Referendum

Sign up for email updates and campaign information here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf6z0SNTAfvJ7BG5d_O5kPm2Ek39_WZKXwB6Cn3Y2bt9orJPw/viewform

 

Have any other questions? Email suhealthplanreferendum@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

 

Comparison to other Ontario University Plans and Oral Contraceptive Coverage

 

Source: StudentVIP

Note: Schools have been anonymized, however, they are all comparable student union health plans at Ontario universities under provider StudentVIP.

Notable findings:

  • Laurier is the only school that does NOT provide oral contraceptive coverage out of the 10 listed above.
  • Laurier’s plan is the lowest cost of all the plans listed.

 

History of Laurier’s Health Plan Fee


Key Dates At A Glance
(Click Here for a Comprehensive Timeline)
1986 Origin of referendum approval for the Students’ Union health plan
1991 Accidental dental coverage added
1994 Opt-out with proof of alternative coverage added
1997 Plan becomes self-funded
2004 Part-time students added to the plan
2005 Dental Plan approved
2012 Successful plan stabilization referendum

 

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